CO.STARTERS is a program designed to provide you with insights, relationships, and tools to turn your idea into action and a sustainable business.
If you're an aspiring entrepreneur, or a seasoned entrepreneur looking to launch a new product or service, CO.STARTERS is for you. The one requirement is that you have to have a concept you are ready to test and be willing to study, shape and fine-tune in a supportive, collaborative, and welcoming environment. If you're creative, community-minded, and serious about turning your passion into a thriving business, we want you.
Don't miss your chance to enroll in this FREE 10-week course!
Course Dates & Times
Sessions are held for 10 weeks straight, 1 evening a week, and run for 3 hours.
The next cohort will begin Tuesday, October 3, 2023 from 4-7 p.m. The final session will be held Tuesday, December 5, 2023.
Enrollment & Selection Process
Applications for the second cohort in Mitchell will be available August 1, 2023. The deadline for applications is Friday, September 15, 2023. Be sure to select Mitchell as your preferred location in the interest form.
Facilitator: Laura Klock
Laura Klock is President and Founder of the local non-profit Helping with Horsepower and co-owner of Farm Life Creamery located in Ethan, SD.
Now in her 50's and a grandmother of 2, Laura has settled into her self-proclaimed title of “Serial Entrepreneur”. This comes from reflecting on all the startup businesses and business transformations that she has participated in over the years, and her love of continual learning and mentorship. Her experience is vast, from holding motorcycle land speed racing records, to equine therapy, graphic design and marketing, teaching, business ownership, and now, starting a local creamery and farm experience!
Laura has joined the Chamber team to co-facilitate the CO.STARTERS curriculum and offer real world experience and example as participants learn tools to turn their ideas into action. Laura enjoys helping others achieve their dreams in both business and life and is happy to share any information she can to encourage others to follow their passions and create a business they enjoy!
During CO.STARTERS, you’ll develop and fine-tune your idea, critically examining every part of it and plan your next steps through feedback from people in the community. The program is facilitated by active local entrepreneurs and educators, and guest speakers include specialists and professionals from the Mitchell area in marketing, branding, legal and finance agencies, as well as other entrepreneurs.
The course consists of eleven sessions; the last session will be a Startup Pitch Night featuring cohort members. We are currently running one cohort per year, with the next cohort beginning in October 3, 2023. During that time, we'll cover the following topics:
Session 1: Knowing Yourself
Session 2: Knowing Your Customer
Session 3: Find the Right Solution
Session 4: Getting the Relationship Right
Session 5: Building Blocks
Session 6: Structures & Systems
Session 7: Discovering the Bottom Line
Session 8: Financial Modeling
Session 9: Planning for Growth
Session 10: Celebration Night
The CO.STARTERS business accelerator program is currently supported through the Community Navigator Pilot Program grant, powered by the Small Business Administration. The current price of the program is FREE, which includes program materials and resources. Interested participants can learn more about the value here.
Participants of the program will receive Q&A with local entrepreneurs, support from Dakota Resources, Startup Sioux Falls, and MCOC/MADC during and post-graduation, and invitations to resource fairs, mentorship programs, alumni networking & workshop events.
Participants will graduate from the program with a deeper understanding of how to create a sustainable business, articulate their business model, and repeat the process for future business ideas.
Sessions will be held at the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce office located at 601 N Main Street in Mitchell, SD.
Refreshments and a light meal will be provided at each session.
Facilitator: Matt Doerr
Matt Doerr is a husband, father, entrepreneur, and results-driven CPA with 10+ years of experience in public accounting. He partners with individuals and business owners to simplify taxes, help businesses plan through major decisions, and ultimately improve lifestyles.
He and his wife, Michaela, operate various businesses in Mitchell and the surrounding communities. Matt and Michaela enjoy working hard and creating experiences with their three kids. When he’s not working in the office, you’ll likely find Matt working on their homestead or taking vacations with his family.
Matt says about the program, "If you're intrigued about the program, need help with the next step in your business, or looking for resources, join us! The program is full of material that you'll likely find more simple and helpful than any education course you've taken before. It will be interactive and constructive. Don't wait for things to be perfect until you get started."
Applications for Mitchell's second cohort have closed. Please contact the Mitchell Chamber for information on future cohorts.
The Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation seeks to create an ecosystem that helps entrepreneurs succeed. The Forward 2040 Visionary Planning identified the need to support entrepreneurs in our community and a recent survey revealed that entrepreneurs need mentors, technical assistance, and help identifying funding sources.
Thanks to a $1 million grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Startup Sioux Falls is piloting an expanded version of its CO.STARTERS accelerator program to better reach underserved communities.
Learn more about the SBA grant opportunity and Hub & Spoke Model Program here: Community Navigator Pilot Program
Please direct questions and inquiries regarding the program and organizations involved to Alex Heidinger at 605-996-5567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.